How to Remove Bleach Smell from Your Hands


Joe asked: Please tell me, if you can, how I can remove the smell of household bleach from my hands (when I am not wearing gloves). Thank you

Bleach is a strong chemical that has a very distinct odor. It is quickly absorbed into any material it comes in contact with, including skin. While it’s best to use protective gloves, if bleach comes in contact with your skin, you’ll know from the lingering smell. There are a variety of items that will remove the smell. Here are a couple of the more successful options for you to try.

You Will Need:

  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • Stainless steel spoon
  • Milk

Steps to Remove the Bleach Smell:

  1. Begin by pouring a small amount of lemon juice/vinegar in your hand.
  2. Rub your hands together for 30 seconds.
  3. Rinse with cool water.
  4. If the smell remains, or is very strong, fill a bowl with a cup or two of the liquid.
  5. Soak your hands in the bowl for one minute.
  6. Repeat until the smell is gone.
  7. If the lemon and vinegar do not work, try a stainless steel spoon or other large utensil.
  8. Hold it under cool, running water, while you rub your hands on the stainless steel. This removes the smell.
  9. Milk can also be placed in a bowl and used with the stainless steel spoon. However, many find the spoon alone to be effective.
  10. Once the odor is gone, you can wash your hands with soap and water to remove any remaining odors from the lemon juice or vinegar.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Contrary to popular belief, you do not want to rinse your hands with hot water to remove smells. The hot water causes the pores in your skin to dilate and take in more of the smelly liquid. Instead, lather your hands well with soap, and then rinse with hot water. This will allow the soap to trap the molecules so they can be washed away.
  • Bleach can be harmful to skin with prolonged exposure. It is best to always wear gloves when working with bleach.
  • You want an acid to remove the bleach. Tomatoes are another acidic food that can be helpful in removing the odors. Try rubbing tomato paste or sauce between your hands.
  • These steps will also remove onion, garlic and other food odors from your hands.


  1. Sheila says:

    I was desperate, got on this website. Tried the vinegar, and it instantly removed the bleach smell from my hands. Thank you whoever posted it.

  2. Jayne says:

    A drop of vanilla–also works on onion smells.

  3. Tamera says:

    Usually lemon removed the bleach smell, but did not this time; maybe my hands were extra bleachy. I was getting so frustrated & literally sick to my stomach from the smell on my hands, so got on this website, thank the Lord! Using the vinegar twice worked! I was so happy for this great advice! I didn’t know what I was going to do otherwise. And everyone, please remember to wear gloves next time AND ventilate the area because only after I used the cleaner containing bleach did I realize that my chest hurt a little, so I’m sure I inhaled some, which of course can’t be good. Sometimes we’re in a hurry and forget to take precautions; I hope you all and I remember to next time. I don’t think we realize that when we clean things, the chemicals are always going into our skin, which goes into our bloodstream, and they’re going in our lungs if we don’t open windows and use fans! Thank you all!

  4. Vinegar says:

    Son of a gun; the vinegar worked like a champ! Thanks!

  5. Brandon says:

    Just ordered a pizza. Had to fix this fast.
    Lemon juice worked like a charm.
    Thanks; you enhanced my dinning experience ten fold.

  6. Regis says:

    Thank you; This really worked for me… I used vinegar for a minute and rinsed it off under cold water while scraping my hands with a stainless steel table spoon, then washed with soap… scent gone! Be blessed.

  7. Hannah says:

    It was crazy how the vinegar just magically made the smell go away! Thanks so much for this tip!

  8. Keishla says:

    This worked great. I tried this today because I had bleach smell on my hands after cleaning my refrigerator and the bleach smell stood on my hands and was giving me a headache; so I found this and decided to try it. This site and instructions worked marvelous and the smell came off my hands immediately. Thanks for whoever posted this; I give you big ups for helping me out and everyone who tries this and helped them.

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